Letter from the OSBA Chairman regardinging 2020 OSC judicial candidates.
2020 Supreme Court of Ohio Candidate Ratings
Fellow Members of the Ohio State Bar Association,
I am pleased to inform you that the bipartisan OSBA Commission on Judicial Candidates has completed its evaluation of the four candidates running for the Supreme Court of Ohio for the Nov. 3, 2020 General Election. As members of the OSBA, you are receiving this information prior to the official release to the media and the general public later today.
Operating under the process adopted by the Board of Governors, Commission members scored each candidate according to the following criteria: legal knowledge and ability, professional competence, judicial temperament, integrity and diligence, personal responsibility, and public and community service.
Out of 30 possible points, candidates receiving a total composite score of 25 or higher, based upon their average scores in each category, earned a rating of “Highly Recommended.” A score between 19 and 24 would garner a rating of “Recommended.” And those earning 18 or less, would be deemed “Qualified by Statute.” Each candidate was scored on an individual basis, without regard to whom they were facing on the November ballot.
The ratings and scores are as follows:
Judge Jennifer Brunner was rated Recommended, with a score of 20. - Democrat
Justice Judith L. French was rated Highly Recommended, with a score of 27. - Republican
Justice Sharon L. Kennedy was rated Recommended, with a score of 23. - Republican
Judge John P. O’Donnell was rated Recommended, with a score of 24. - Democrat
These scores were informed by a thorough evaluation of the candidates by the Commission, including a written questionnaire and resume, as well as a review of each candidate’s decisions, writings, publications, letters of reference, docket reports, financial disclosure statements and other public records. Lawyers, judges and other citizens familiar with each candidate’s reputation, past performance and qualifications were consulted as part of the vetting. And finally, each candidate was interviewed individually by the Commission last week.
Though judges make decisions that affect the everyday lives of Ohioans, voters consistently report that they do not know enough about the candidates to make informed decisions. I’d like to thank the candidates, the members of the Commission, and the OSBA for their efforts to provide context and good information to members of the bar, as well as the public, and their commitment to promoting a well-informed electorate this November.
Martin E. Mohler
Chairman, OSBA Commission on Judicial Candidates